Dissertation Days #2

Dissertation 1

I can’t believe how fast time has gone since I last wrote a post about how my dissertation was going.

I am pleased to say that progress is remaining steady.

Writing has always been a dream for me. The lifelong ambition so far has always been to write a novel, to actually get to the end and know I have achieved it. Alas, so far in life I have never really got that far. But now I’m using the novel as my dissertation, it actually feels like that dream could become a reality. In a way, it feels surreal that I’m working on it properly, focusing on each word at a time rather than playing around with it.

My first draft was received well considering I had the fear it would be so awful no one would want to read it. My main problem was that I was only half in the character’s head: half was me narrating from a distance and half was what he was seeing and feeling. Due to my own voice coming through too much, there was also apparently the hint of places where I was trying too hard for a good mark.

Working on my second draft put the love of writing right back where it belonged. I had so much fun getting further into my character’s head and making sure I was seeing things through his eyes. There were moments of sitting there with my head in my hands because I was trying to envision how he would react in the situation rather than how I would have him to react.Dissertation 2

There were days where he refused to let me into his head. It meant I got barely anything written even though I was working on it for a considerable length of time. And then there were days where I just knew precisely how to have him react. Those were the days that were the most fun, the days where I felt like maybe I could write a novel after all. I hadn’t realised how much I was distancing the narration from the characters, but I was starting to see how much I was changing during this second edit.

With having such a major change to make throughout the whole piece, I’m hopeful it will mean I will have something quite constructive to talk about in my critical commentary. Anything to make life a little bit easier when it is a dissertation on the table, right?

I feel sorry for other departments. There is no denying it has been hard work and spending half an hour agonising over a paragraph is not fun. But writing this dissertation has actually made me remember what it is I want to do in life and to give me the courage to keep going with that dream. It’s making me feel that perhaps I can do this after all, as long as I keep putting the work in.

How many people can say that about their dissertations? Does anyone else have any comments on how their progress is going?

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3 thoughts on “Dissertation Days #2

  1. Glad you’re getting on with it. Dissertations are hard but you’ve picked something you are enjoying and that plays a huge part. Plus it’s a great way to get your head in and write that first novel! 😛

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